Chelsea could repeat Cole Palmer transfer trick to finally give Enzo Maresca dream first transfer

Cole Palmer celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea FC
-Credit: (Image: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Enzo Maresca is close to becoming the new Chelsea boss and it seems that he is already eyeing new signings for the summer transfer window.

The Italian is signing a five-year deal with the option of a further 12 months after leading Leicester City to the Championship title in the season just gone. He has previously worked with Pep Guardiola at Man City, first as manager of the development squad before returning, after a brief spell as manager of Parma, as Guardiola’s assistant.

It’s those connections at City that Maresca could make use of at Stamford Bridge. The print edition of the Sun on Sunday (p.61) claims that the manager wants Manchester City youngster James McAtee at Chelsea this summer, having been working on a £20 million deal to take him to Leicester.

The midfielder spent last season on loan in the Premier League with Sheffield United, but couldn’t help the club avoid relegation back to the Championship. His move to the Blades came after he took a look around Leicester’s training ground ahead of a potential move to play under Maresca last summer, but the lure of the Premier League proved too much.

The fact that the manager has tried again for McAtee shows how highly he rates him. The 21-year-old has made seven first-team appearances for Man City, but could follow a path trodden by former teammate Cole Palmer.

Palmer made the move from Man City to Chelsea last summer, having just started to make the breakthrough into the first team at the Etihad Stadium. The 22-year-old was one of the standout players in the league in 2023/24, scoring 22 goals and providing 11 assists in 34 league appearances as he was named Premier League Young Player of the Year.

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If McAtee can replicate even a bit of that, then he could prove to be another clever signing for Chelsea. Leicester, Leeds United, Southampton and Spanish side Girona are among the other clubs to be linked with an interest in the Man City youngster this summer.